Identifying hotspots of coconut cultivation in Tamil Nadu
Sankar T, Kowshika N
Coconut (Cocos nucifera L) is multi-utility horticultural crop both in food and cosmetic industries. The natural oil from coconut competes with other low valuable vegetable oils in the international market due to consequence of globalization and erratic weather. Among the Indian states, viz, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh are contributing 90 per cent of the total production. Tamil Nadu is leading in productivity and stood 2nd place in cultivated area among India. In this study, trend analysis on area, production and productivity for 30 year (1985-2015) was done and it was further extended in delineating Efficient Cropping Zones (ECZ) of coconut among the districts of Tamil Nadu during 2001-2015. Relative Yield Index (RYI) and Relative Spread Index (RSI) were used to identify the potential cropping districts. Result revealed that trends in area, production and productivity showed an increasing drift with over the years. Even though, production and productivity of coconut showed fluctuations during the mid-period of study, overall growth rate of 35.0 per cent, 29.2 percent, 42.0 percent was observed in coconut area, production and productivity for entire state. Identification of hotspot areas revealed that Coimbatore, Tirupur, Vellore, Thanjavur, Madurai, Theni, Dindigul, Tirunelveli, Kanniyakumari, Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Salem, Viruthunagar and Sivagangai districts found to be most efficient cropping zones for cultivation. Findings inferred that the increasing trend of coconut area, production and productivity has brought new challenges for marketing and transporting. Hence, this study helps government and policy makers to create an opportunity regarding coconut-based marketing at efficient places.